Mauri Pacific

Mauri Pacific
Leader Tau Henare
Founded 1998
Headquarters N/A (disbanded)
Ideology multiculturalist
International affiliation N/A (disbanded)
Website
N/A (disbanded)

Mauri Pacific (literally meaning "spirit of the Pacific") was a short-lived political party in New Zealand. It was formed in 1998 by five former members of the New Zealand First party. It has often been described as a Māori party. Officially, Mauri Pacific was a multiculturalist party, welcoming anyone who supported racial and cultural harmony. Three of its five MPs were Māori, and two were Pākehā.

The party only contested one election, and failed to retain any of its five seats in Parliament. The party disbanded shortly afterwards.

Origins

Mauri Pacific had its origins in New Zealand First, a populist party led by former National Party minister Winston Peters. After the 1996 election, New Zealand First won 17 seats, including a sweep of all five Māori seats. It held the balance of power in Parliament, and eventually went into coalition with the incumbent conservative National Party with Peters as deputy prime minister. Gradually, however, the relationship between New Zealand First and the National Party deteriorated. In August 1998, Peters was sacked from Cabinet, and he pulled New Zealand First out of the coalition.

Many New Zealand First MPs were not willing to follow their party back into Opposition, however. Eight of the party's sixteen MPs defected, establishing themselves as independents. These MPs supported the National Party government, enabling it to keep a slim majority in Parliament.

Some time later, five of the newly independent MPs gathered together to establish Mauri Pacific. They were led by Tau Henare, Minister of Māori Affairs and former deputy leader of New Zealand First. The other MPs were Tuku Morgan, Rana Waitai, Jack Elder, and Ann Batten.

Henare, Morgan, and Waitai were previously members of the so-called "tight five", New Zealand First's group of Māori MPs. (The other two members of the "tight five," Tu Wyllie and Tuariki Delamere, were not involved with Mauri Pacific - Wyllie had remained with New Zealand First, and Delamere eventually joined the small Te Tawharau party.) Because its three highest-profile MPs were Māori, Mauri Pacific was considered by many to be a Māori party. Its policies were generally favourable towards Māori, such as its proposal to give customary Māori law equal status to modern Western law, but the party portrayed this as multiculturalism rather than mere Māori advocacy. The party made a particular attempt to gather support from Pacific Islanders, although was not particularly successful.

Fate

Mauri Pacific was not well received by the general public. The behaviour of its members (particularly Tuku Morgan) had been criticised even before the splintering of New Zealand First, and the perception that these MPs had "betrayed" their former party was strong. Many voters believed that Mauri Pacific had been born out of political opportunism, not out of firmly-held principle. It later came out that Henare had challenged Peters for leadership of New Zealand First prior to the split. In addition, the party's policies were criticised as vague and unspecific.

In the 1999 elections, Mauri Pacific stood candidates in twenty electorates. It also put forward a party list of twenty-two people. However, the party gained only 4,008 list votes (0.19% of the total), putting it in thirteenth place. None of Mauri Pacific's sitting MPs were re-elected, or even managed to win second place. Shortly after the election, Mauri Pacific disbanded.

See also

  • Category:Mauri Pacific politicians

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • New Zealand Pacific Party — Leader Taito Philip Field Founded 2008 Dissolved 2010 …   Wikipedia

  • Men's Football at the 2011 Pacific Games — Men s Football at the Pacific Games 2011 Tournament details Host country  New Caledonia Dates 27 August – 9 September Teams 11 (from 2 confederat …   Wikipedia

  • New Zealand general election, 1999 — 1996 ← members November 27, 1999 (1999 11 27) …   Wikipedia

  • Tau Henare — (born 29 September 1960) is a New Zealand Māori parliamentarian. He served as a Member of Parliament from 1993 to 1999 and returned to Parliament in 2005. He has been involved with 3 political parties: New Zealand First, Mauri Pacific and the… …   Wikipedia

  • List of political parties in New Zealand — New Zealand This article is part of the series: Politics and government of New Zealand Constitution …   Wikipedia

  • Tight Five — Parliamentary terms Tau Henare Parliament of New Zealand Years Term Electorate List Party 1993–96 …   Wikipedia

  • Māori politics — New Zealand This article is part of the series: Politics and government of New Zealand Constitution …   Wikipedia

  • Ann Batten — Reverend Ann Batten is a former New Zealand politician. She was an MP from 1996 to 1999. She was elected to Parliament in the 1996 elections as a New Zealand First list MP. In 1998, when New Zealand First splintered, Batten was one of the eight… …   Wikipedia

  • Rana Waitai — Rana Donald Waitai is a former New Zealand politician. He was an MP from 1996 to 1999. He was first elected to Parliament in the 1996 elections as New Zealand First MP for the Maori seat of Te Puku O Te Whenua as one of the Tight Five , having… …   Wikipedia

  • Jack Elder — Jack Arnold Elder (born 3 July 1949) is a former New Zealand politician. He was an MP from 1984 to 1999, representing first the Labour Party, then New Zealand First, and then Mauri Pacific. Jack Elder was born and raised in West Auckland,… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.